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Google’s March to World Domination, Part II

New, deeper search bothering publishers.


Henry Donahue By Henry Donahue
03/27/2008 -10:34 AM






As noted in the Times earlier this week, Google users can now search deep into content sites without leaving Google, bypassing publishers' own search functions entirely. Publishers, contemplating the resulting page view migration from their sites to Google, have reacted negatively and some have asked Google to stop providing the extra search box underneath the results for their site.

Here how it works: I'm looking for an article I saw recently in Scientific American on particle physics so I google "SciAm." The first search result contains a search box incorporated with the SciAm.com links, so I type in "particle physics" there and get a page of relevant results from just SciAm. I see my article on click on it. Voila! Google creates one additional page view for Google (the second search results page) and at least two fewer for SciAm (their home page and their own search results page).

To most publishers, this probably seems like piling on. Google is already probably your number one source of external traffic. They may also be your fallback ad network, selling inventory on your site to blue chip advertisers and keeping most of the revenue. You don't want to antagonize them, for fear of losing your hard-won SEO gains (I'm getting a little skittish even writing this post).

This latest move highlights the strategic necessity of growing organic traffic and internal sales ability, reducing your Google dependency. A good role model is ESPN who announced this week that they are ditching ad networks entirely. Google may be "doing no evil" to your business, but they're not interested in giving you any help.

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Henry Donahue By Henry Donahue -- Henry Donahue is the CEO of Discover Media LLC, the publisher of Discover magazine and Discovermagazine.com. Donahue was formerly CFO of Primedia's Lifestyles Magazine Group, a 30-plus magazine division, which included Soap Opera, Crafts, Boating, Equine and History titles.

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